Nachtfalter Summer Knit-a-Long Week 4 Progress

I am way behind on this project.  I’m currently finishing up my PhD and things have been crazy the last two weeks.  I haven’t had much time to knit.  I have 9 of the 16 lace repeats I was supposed to have done finished.  Hopefully I have time to start catching up this week!

KAL Week 4

This is what the finished product should look like.


Cinnamon Toast

Cinnamon toast was probably my favorite breakfast as a kid.  It’s delicious and not even a little bit healthy.


  • Slices of bread of your choice
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter


Cinnamon Toast 1

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Butter each slice of bread and place on cookie sheet.
  3. Top each slice of bread with 1-2 teaspoons of brown sugar.  Spread the sugar over the bread with the back of your spoon.
  4. Lightly sprinkle cinnamon over brown sugar.
  5. Bake for about 7 minutes.  The crust of the bead should be firm.  The butter should have melted and mixed with the cinnamon and sugar to form a delicious goo-like substance.

Cinnamon Toast 2

Crock Pot Roast Beef Sliders

I found a recipe for roast beef sliders on Pinterest.  Here is my own slight variation on the recipe.  These sandwiches are really great.  These are probably my fiance’s favorite thing that I make for dinner.



Roast Directions:


  1. Place roast in crock pot (picture above shows a 1/2 of recipe).
  2. Whisk together water, brown gravy mix, Italian dressing mix, and French onion soup mix.  Pour over roast.
  3. Pour jar of Picante sauce over roast.
  4. Cook the roast on low for 6-8 hours.


Caramelized Onion Directions:

  1. Add butter and olive oil to large skillet.  Warm pan over medium-high heat.
  2. While the pan is warming, peel the onion and cut it into slices.
  3. The pan will be ready when the oil shimmers.
  4. Place the onions into the pan.  Stir to cover onions with oil and butter.  Cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Add salt and sugar.  Reduce heat to medium.  Continue to cook and stir.  The onions will go from from opaque and rigid to translucent and ductile.
  6. As the onions start to turn brown, you may have to stir more often.  If the onions start to get too dry, add more oil.  Remove the onions from heat when they reach a rich, dark brown color.  This should take about 1/2 an hour from the time you started cooking.


Slider Directions:

  1. Cut the Hawaiian rolls in half.
  2. Cut the roast into chunks.  Place on the rolls.
  3. Spoon the sauce from the roast on top of the meat.
  4. Place caramelized onions on top of the meat.
  5. Top the onions with Swiss cheese.
  6. Enjoy!


State Plaque

Last year, I found a cute idea on Pinterest.  Someone had created this adorable plaque.  Unfortunately, the link attached to the pin didn’t lead to directions.  I decided to make similar plaques for my parents and my boyfriend’s parents for Christmas.  I detailed my improvised process below.  Sorry for the lack of pictures!

Texas Plaque Inspiration

Materials (and where I bought them):

  • A Plaque ( Hobby Lobby)
  • A Box of Small Nails (Home Depot)
  • A Small Finishing Hammer (Home Depot)
  • Ball of Cotton Crochet Thread (Hobby Lobby)
  • Masking Tape
  • Scissors
  • Access to a Computer/Printer


  1. Purchase your plaque so you are certain of the size.
  2. Print out a state map and a small heart using your computer and printer.  Make sure the sizes are appropriate for your plaque.  I copied my state map into PowerPoint so that I could scale it to fit my plaque well. Also in PowerPoint, I superimposed the heart on the map over the cities where my parents and my then boyfriend’s (now fiance’s!) parents live.
  3. Cut out the map and the heart using scissors.
  4. Create small rolls of masking tape and put the tape on the back of the map.
  5. Place the map on the plaque in the orientation desired.
  6. Line the paper map and heart with nails.  I would suggest using a spacer so the nails are evenly spaced.  I used a crochet hook.  A pen would be an appropriate size.
  7. After the paper map and heart are completely lined with nails, carefully remove the map.
  8. Tie the end of the thread to one of the heart nails.  Maintaining tension in the thread, wrap the thread around the nails alternating between heart nails and map nails.  Wrap thread around each map nail once and each heart nail several times.  When all of the nails are wrapped, tie the string to the final nail and cut the string close to the nail.

My Plaques

I was very pleased with the final product and both of our parents loved their gifts!

Difficulty:  Easy

Time Requited:  2 Movies

Overall Experience:  Excellent

About a month ago, I got an email from Uncommon Goods.  They are selling almost the exact same plaques for $85!  I wish that I had thought to paint the tips of the nails red for the heart.  That was a really cute idea!

Uncommon Goods Plaque

Nachtfalter Summer Knit-a-Long Week 3 Progress

This week was crazy busy, and I had very little time to knit.  I did not make my goal which was eight of the lace repeats.  I managed 5.5 of them.  Here is a quick progress picture.  I’m looking forward to catching up on sleep tonight!

Week 3


Spinach Artichoke Dip

In addition to banana pudding, I also made spinach artichoke dip for the lab BBQ.  I couldn’t find my mom’s recipe, but I found a very similar, highly rated, recipe on  The dip turned creamy with a great flavor.  It also looks pretty.  I’ll make it again.

Spinach Dip


2 cups parmesan cheese

1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

2/3 cup sour cream

1 cup cream cheese

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons garlic, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix together Parmesan cheese, spinach, and artichoke hearts.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and mix with spinach mixture.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Banana Pudding

I found out last week that the summer graduation deadline is much sooner than I thought, so I’ve been working 14 hour days this week trying to finish my research for my dissertation. Sorry for the lack of posts! The craziness will be over one way or another July 17.

Today my lab had a BBQ. Our lab is very international. (I think I am the only American student doing research in structural engineering.) This means that there are many different religious eating restrictions to keep in mind. Also, people from different countries tend to not like a lot of our “American” desserts. (When I first started graduate school, many of my baked creations didn’t get eaten, much to my disappointment.) However, it seems that my mother’s banana pudding is a world-wide hit. It didn’t disappoint today. My fellow students ate a gigantic bowl (double batch) of the stuff.

Banana Pudding


3 1/2 oz instant vanilla pudding

1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cups of water

8 oz Cool Whip

1 Banana

1 Box of Nilla Wafers



  1. Mix the vanilla pudding, sweetened condensed milk, and water until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 5 minutes
  3. In another bowl, cover the bottom with 1 layer of Nilla Wafers. (I should have taken a picture. I’ll try to remember next time I make it.)
  4. Slice 1/2 of the banana on top of the wafers.
  5. Fold the Cool Whip into the pudding mixture.
  6. Spoon 1/2 of the pudding mixture on top of the bananas.
  7. Slice the rest of the banana on top of the pudding mixture.
  8. Spoon the remainder of the pudding mixture on top of the bananas.
  9. Place wafers around the edge of the bowl, as shown in the picture. Sprinkle broken wafers on top.
  10. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wedding Doilies

I’m currently working on various projects for my upcoming October wedding.  Our colors are purple and grey.  For the centerpieces, I chose groups of three glass cylinders containing a single eggplant calla lily.  The cylinders will be filled with water with a floating candle floating on top of each.  The effect will be similar to picture below.

My dress is extremely lacy, and I am incorporating lace into various aspects of the decorations.  I wanted to include both lace and grey into the centerpieces, so I chose to crochet doilies to place under the centerpieces.  I searched Ravelry for free doily patterns and chose Doily 4403 8 Point Star.  The pattern creates a 9 3/4″ doily.  To achieve a more appropriate size for my purposes (17 “), I used a size 0 crochet hook rather than a size 11.  I’m making the doilies out of Bernat Handicrafter Crochet Thread in Misty Grey.


I recruited my grandmother and great aunt to help me make some of the 20+ doilies need for the reception.  That’s a lot of doilies!  Since I will busy with these, my summer knit-a-long project Nachtfalter, and some surprise projects for my wedding party, I won’t have “new” project to blog about for quite some time.  I have pictures of quite a few old projects to blog about until I finish.


Nachtfalter Summer Knit-a-Long–Week 2 Progress

I finished Week 2 of the Nachtfalter Summer Knit-a-Long.  The goal this week was to finish the bottom ribbing.  It fits like a charm!



Week 2a

Melt in your Mouth Chicken

So…  it turns out that I’m cooking a lot this week.  I found Melt in your Mouth Chicken on Pinterest.  It sounded good, so I made it.  I’m not overly salt sensitive, but I found the chicken to be extremely salty.  It was so salty that I found myself taking a drink after every bite.  I adjusted the recipe.  It now has a great flavor, and I’m not overwhelmed with salt.  It’s also super easy to make.



1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese

1 cup of plain Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of seasoning salt

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

2 lbs of chicken tenders



  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Wash chicken tenders, trim any unwanted portions of chicken, place in bottom of baking dish
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients and spread on top of chicken
  4. Bake for 45 minutes

There is one oddity.  When the chicken comes out of the oven, you will find that it is sitting in quite a lot of water.  This has happened every time I have made the dish.  See the picture below.